ELLERINES

Since its humble beginnings in a small furniture store in Germiston over 60 years ago, Ellerines has continued to live up to its promise to its customers — Making Life Easier For You.

This saying sums up the value that the brand places in its loyal customers, who not only take pride in their homes, but also in the relationship that they have developed with Ellerines over the years.

Ellerines has always focused on offering quality merchandise at the lowest price, with the best credit offering and a variety of easy payment options.

With 650 stores trading under the names of Ellerines, Town Talk, Furncity and Savells Fairdeal, these combined brands have made an indelible footprint in communities throughout South Africa and the neighbouring countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Nambia, Swaziland and Zambia.

Dial-A-Bed

Dial-a-Bed is a national chain consisting of 19 stores and three distribution centres.

Dial-a-Bed entered the retail arena in 1996, with the first specialist bedding concept in South Africa. The brand pioneered a unique way of selling beds over the phone. The brand is based on the concept of total convenience, ultimate service, and professional advice.

“Phone Today, Sleep Tonight” is an integral part of the brand’s service delivery promise, as well as the professionalism of the sales consultants.

This is a powerful brand with a young enthusiastic and exciting team. Currently it is focusing on getting back to doing the basics well, and protect its position of being the leading retailer of sleep and comfort.

The brand’s operating margin is at 11%.

LUBNERS

The Lubners brand is a household name and one of the best known brands in South Africa, hence their pay off line of “WOW! Lubners are the greatest”. Lubners has reached a milestone in its proud history by turning 100 years old this year. The brand has a well established and stable senior management team.

Lubners’ competitive edge is in the lounge and bedding categories with plugs constituting a major portion of its sales mix. The brand, however, offers a full range of merchandise, at competitive prices, to an aspirational market. Despite competitive market conditions and pressure on margins the brand has shown an operating margin of 13% over the reporting period.

Lubners has enhanced its current standing and is poised to become a market leader in the middle market credit retail sector.

MATTRESS FACTORY

This brand is currently only based in Gauteng, Limpopo Province and North West Province and consist of 20 stores. The store design and image of the brand is currently being upgraded to give the brand a fresher more vibrant and dynamic look.

The brand colours have also been changed to move the brand away from the sea of sameness in the bedding specialist market.

From a peak of 33 stores three years ago the number was reduced to 20 and the brand was returned to profitability. The brand is once again going through a growth phase with at least five new stores planned for the current year.

The brand is currently applying a dual strategy due to the positioning of the current stores, and the different positioning of the new stores going forward. The current stores were mostly positioned in value centres and malls or close by, i.e. in similar locations to Dial-a-Bed. The new stores are positioned in high streets or rural shopping centres.

Geen & Richards

Geen & Richards was established over 100 years ago and is a highly aspirational luxury furniture retail brand.

In 1909 Thomas Richards, a former employee of both Stuttafords and John Orrs, formed an association with Herbert Henry Geen.

They opened their own business on the ground floor of 113 President Street Johannesburg and with in a year business was going well enough to necessitate a move to larger premises in Market Street, from where they began to sell locally sourced furniture.

As time moved on Geen & Richards became a household name synonymous with quality furniture and famous brand home appliances.

The tradition of superior quality combined with unique designs and styles continues today, with a large portion of furniture being imported from Italy.

BEARES

As a member of Ellerine Holdings and its subsidiaries, Beares was established in 1930 and has grown successfully over the years. We now have 203 stores in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland and we are growing day by day.

We, at Beares, aim to attract quality customers and employees as a result of our passion for both internal and external customer care. Through our CARING attitude for customers, staff and investors alike we aim to make Beares a “First Choice” retailer.

Beares is now a subsidiary of the Lewis Group, a leading retailer of household furniture, electrical appliances and home electronics. The retail brands are supported by the financial services arm, Monarch Insurance, which provides short-term insurance to the group's credit customers.

TALK TOWN

The brand is well established both in rural and metropolitan areas having been trading for some 36 years. The brand’s competitive edge is that of a provider of value for money merchandise and appliances on easy terms with a particular appeal for the young aspirant entrants into the market.

The main focus is on audio and television which is supplemented by wide range of household furnishings and other appliances to meet the needs of its customers. The brand enjoys a high level of customer loyalty at around 50%.

The results achieved by the brand are in line with those of the flagship Ellerine brand with an operating margin of 26%

SAVELLS FAIRDEAL

Savells and Fairdeal are sister brands working together co-operatively. Each brand has a unique look and feel as well as a loyal customer base, which responds to the specific identity of each brand.

Operationally, the two brands function as a single entity, with one management team,
allowing the unit to benefit from economies of scale.

with 138 stores in South Africa, Swaziland and Botswana, Savells/Fairdeal prides itself on the high level of personalised service and support which it provides its customers when making their purchases. The relative quality and design features of the product range are important to the brand’s customers who are provided with a pleasant shopping environment.

While the demand for modern products such as home theatre systems and microwaves, the brand’s competitive edge remains in bedding and bedroom furniture.

Savells brand was adjudged one of the top 10 Furniture Retailers in The Sunday Times/Markinor Top Brands Survey 2005.

WETHERLYS

Wetherlys was launched (as a family business) in 1973, and operated out of a small garage in Auckland Park (Johannesburg). It introduced handmade furniture, combined with old Cape yellow wood antiques, rattan and a selection of imported basket weave and porcelain, to the discerning market.

With the prohibitive cost of conventional retail space, the idea of the Warehouse concept was sparked. These days, Wetherlys operates in excess of 30 branches.

The secret to Wetherlys success has been a unique balance between  imported and locally manufactured products, with quality and exclusivity  being of the utmost importance. A highly skilled team of buyers travel extensively to obtain new ideas and to source the latest trends.  The buyers efforts have resulted in an awe-inspiring selection of over 60,000 items of merchandise.

FURNITURE CITY

This brand targets the more aspirational middle income market consumer.

Over the past number of years, considerable emphasis was placed on growing the brand from 84 outlets in August 2001 to 155 outlets as at August 2005 of which 128 are located in South Africa and 27 in the adjoining southern African states.

The brand’s competitive edge is focused on lounge merchandise with the brand committed to meeting the aspirations of its consumers which include elegance, style and quality. The brand offers a unique shopping experience in a warm environment which displays, to maximum effect, the merchandise on offer. In addition to the lounge furniture, there is a wide range of high quality sophisticated home furnishings and appliances.

FURN CITY

Over the past number of years, considerable emphasis was placed on growing the brand from 84 outlets in August 2001 to 155 outlets as at August 2005 of which 128 are located in South Africa and 27 in the adjoining southern African states.

The brand’s competitive edge is focused on lounge merchandise with the brand committed to meeting the aspirations of its consumers which include elegance, style and quality. The brand offers a unique shopping experience in a warm environment which displays, to maximum effect, the merchandise on offer. In addition to the lounge furniture, there is a wide range of high quality sophisticated home furnishings and appliances.

OSIERS

In 2002, the Wetherlys management identified a gap in the market for cane furniture, house wares and linen and as such, a new brand, Osiers (which means cane in French) was born. The Osiers outlets supplement the Wetherlys chain and have proved extremely successful both as supplementing the Wetherlys decorating warehouses, as well as stand-alone units in high-density shopping centres. The Osiers brand will provide exciting opportunities for further expansion of this division.

Wetherlys were trading out of 12 decorating warehouses located nationwide. There were also nine Osiers trading with a further Osiers outlet at Tyger Valley also due to open in November 2005.

After operating the outlets in Spain for some time, a strategic decision has been taken that for the foreseeable future, international operations should be conducted on the basis of supplying product to local independent distributors. This is in line with the successful model implemented in the UK, Ireland, Portugal and Florida in the USA.

Ellerines Brand

55 Years successful in retail, that's the admirable record for which flagship brand Ellerines is renowned in the trade. This is a brand associated with quality furniture and appliances, highly trained, dependable sales advisors and for providing excellent customer service. From small towns to big cities, Ellerines has 260 stores.

Across the country, in both the rural and metropolitan areas, the Ellerines stores have a well-established reputation and are perceived as helpful and trustworthy family outlets catering to the needs of the lower to middle income Groups.

The competitive edge of this brand is a wide range of bedding and bedroom merchandise which fulfils the basic needs of the entry level customers who are initially attracted to the brand.  The brand, however, caters to the ongoing needs of its customers who are extremely loyal to the brand.  The Ellerines brand has a proud 55-year history and was adjudged the number 1 brand in the Markinor/ Sunday Times survey for 2003, 2004 and 2005.

LEXINGTON-DESK-DETAIL

Ellerines Group

The Group operates in the retail furniture and appliance sector trading out of 1,104 outlets as follows:

Traditional credit retail division
Ellerines/Town Talk/FurnCity and foreign catering to the lower to middle markets

Universal retail division
Beares/Geen & Richards/Lubners catering to the middle to upper middle markets plus Savells/Fairdeal which caters to the lower market

Value retail division
Dial-a-Bed/Mattress Factory/Furniture City catering to the middle to upper markets

Decorating division
Wetherlys/Osiers/Roodefurn Manufacturing catering to the upper market